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System Approved to Remove Germs From Blood Platelets

Lowers chances of infected donation

FRIDAY, Dec. 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new system designed to remove viruses, bacteria and other germs from donated blood platelets was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Earlier in the week, the agency approved a similar system to remove germs from donated blood plasma.

Platelets are disc-shaped components of blood that assist in clotting. The Intercept System can filter platelets of AIDS-causing HIV, hepatitis B and C, and West Nile virus, the FDA said in a news release.

However, the system does not remove all germs, having been shown ineffective in removing pathogens including human parvovirus B19 and spores formed by certain bacteria, the agency added.

Platelets prepared using the Intercept system were determined safe and effective in 10 clinical studies involving 844 people, the FDA said.

The system is marketed by Cerus Corp., based in Concord, Calif.

More information

Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to learn more.

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